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Firefighters, paramedics scramble to local intersections on a lifesaving mission

By Staff | Mar 17, 2010

On March 19-21, firefighters and paramedics of IAFF Local #1826 in Lee County will take to the streets to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through their signature fundraiser the “Fill the Boot” drive.

For more than half a century, the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) members have stood by the MDA, striving to make a difference in the lives of those affected by 43 neuromuscular diseases. The IAFF is the single largest sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association raising over $275 million since 1953.

All across the country, firefighters participate in the Fill the Boot drive traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. This year, local firefighters and paramedics from LCEMS, Lee County Airport Authority, Lehigh Fire District, Iona-McGregor Fire District, The City of Fort Myers Fire District, San Carlos Fire District, Fort Myers Beach Fire District, Bayshore Fire District, South Trail Fire District, Tice Fire District, Fort Myers Shores Fire District, Estero Fire District, Pine Island Fire District, Sanibel Island Fire District and North Fort Myers Fire District will take to the streets early to avoid rain, heat and most importantly hurricanes.

The money raised in Lee County stays in Lee County to help fund program services including a free clinic at theLee Memorial Heath Center; assistance with the purchase and repairs of wheelchairs, leg braces and communication devices; physical, occupational, and respiratory therapy consultations; and summer camp for children. The money raised also helps fund several ongoing research projects at the University of Miami in search of better treatments and cures.

Last year IAFF Local #1826 was the second highest raising firefighter union in the state of Florida thanks to the pride, spirit, and tradition of the Lee County citizens. Firefighters are hoping to keep one of the top positions in the country as the highest raising state for the MDA. This will be a community wide effort so we are asking all of those in Lee County to “Give a hoot, help Fill the Boot” and please be on high alert on March 19, 20 and 21 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following intersections:

Colonial & Fowler, Daniels & Treeline, Southpointe Blvd. & College, US 41 & Crystal, US 41 & Sanibel Blvd., Buckingham & Palm Beach Blvd., Palm Beach Blvd. & I-75 on ramp, Buckingham & Orange River Road, US 41 & Coconut Road, Corkscrew & Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy., Ben Hill Griffin & Gulf Center Drive, Homestead and Alabama Road, Estero Blvd. & 5th Ave., Pine Island Road & Stringfellow Road, Bayshore Road & I-75 ramp, Bayshore Road & US 41.

The Sanibel firefighters will be collecting at local area supermarkets and restaurants.